For the latest in your demonetized enjoyment, the interrogation of Mr. Ross begins at 4:25, though I wouldn’t miss the judge at first appearance.
Note: the interrogation of Mr. Ross was not video recorded.
The State of Florida offered Kwantedious Ross the 25 year mandatory minimum in exchange for his guilty plea. Ross rejected the deal and took his case to trial, where a jury wasted no time finding him guilty.
From Ross’s sentencing hearing:
MS . LATHAM: Judge, the State is asking that this Court sentence the the defendant to the only appropriate sentence, and that would be a life in this case. The facts certainly warrant that. The State asks you to recall just three pieces of evidence that was admitted at trial.
One would be the the body cam footage of the the child. that was disturbing, in her statements, over and over again, that she can’t feel her body; God, I hope I’m not paralyzed. But more importantly, she laid out several aggravating factors in this case. And one the most important, would be that the defendant was lying in wait. This was an ambush; she did not see this coming. He concealed himself in the stairwell, concealed himself. He tried to kill somebody else, Trenten Carson. And when she was down and helpless, he came up to her and she described the crime that was basically execution-style attempted murder.
Another piece of evidence is the the interview with the defendant by the detective. I think his words and the tone, it was quite chilling, where he bragged about that he shot Emily and he literally emptied the magazine into her. And at that time, he had no remorse; he was actually proud of that fact. And when the officer asked if he if he wanted to make an apology, he chuckled, and said, “Like I should be the one that apologized. She provoked this. She provoked this.”
And even when the officer gave him another chance, “Don’t you wish we didn’t have guns, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” the defendant said, “I was really mad. Something would have happened, even if I didn’t have a gun.” And in the end I know he says now he’s remorseful, but in the end, he said, “Part of me wishes I hadn’t done it, but part of me felt it was right; it was retaliation.” And one can only conclude from that interview that his motive was just one of pure evil intent in this case.
We’d also like to point out the testimony of Emily, and that statement that she was here just because she wants justice, and justice in this case would be life. We want to make it clear to the defendant this isn’t sad time for Emily. She’s not broken. He hasn’t taken her good soul away. She doesn’t want anybody to look at her and and say how heartbreaking, ’cause she’s a strong, courageous, beautiful girl. And he hasn’t taken that away from her.
But her life has changed, and every day she has to wake up and she has to remember that the actions of one evil person has changed her life forever. So we’re simply asking that you sentence the defendant in the same manner; that he wakes up and realizes my life has changed forever and I have a life sentence. And that’s what we’re asking for.
Ross testified about how he found god in jail.
Ross’s grandma testified that he is good kid.
The defense asked the judge to not sentence Ross to life in prison.
THE COURT: Mr. Ross, you’ve already spoken to me, sir, but before I pronounce sentence, I want to just make sure that there’s nothing else that you’d like to say?
THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. As it relates to Count 1, I’ve already adjudicated you guilty. I’ll sentence you to life in prison with 348 days credit for time served. That’s subject to a 25-year minimum mandatory. Count 2 will run consecutive to Count 1, five years Department of Corrections, 348 days credit for time served. Count 3 will run concurrent with Counts 1 with Count 1 and Count 2, life in prison, 25-year minimum mandatory. 348 days time served.
The judge also addressed Ms. Nelson:
THE COURT: I want to just mention to you how impressed I was with your testimony, you know, how you acted that particular night. You know, grabbing that gun in front of Mr. Carson made a big difference in his particular life. I think that – Manny, excuse me. I think that the that your life is not limited in any way.
What I mean by that is, that if you can conduct yourself in that particular moment, in that particular way, if you can conduct yourself in this courtroom in the way that you conducted yourself, you can do anything you want. And that — and like I said, your life has no limits to it. So I’ll be very interested, ma’am, to see what you do with your life. I’m sure it’ll be excellent.
On June 18, 2019, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed Ross’s sentence.
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00:00 First appearance
02:27 “Basically an execution that didn’t quite work out”
03:03 Incident footage
04:25 Interview begins